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New Jersey Becomes the Next State to Ban Salary History Inquiries

Effective January 1, 2020:  New Jersey employers are prohibited from screening job applicants based on their salary history including, but not limited to, prior wages, salaries, or benefits and from requiring that the applicant’s salary history satisfy any minimum or maximum criteria.


However, if an applicant “voluntarily, without employer prompting or coercion” provides the employer with salary history information, an employer may consider that information in determining salary, benefits, and other compensation for an applicant, and may verify the applicant’s salary history.  Additionally, applicants may provide salary history information to an employment agency, which can only be shared with potential employers with the express written consent of the applicant.


New Jersey’s salary history law does not apply to:

  1. applications for internal transfer or promotion;
  2. actions taken by an employer pursuant to any federal law or regulation that expressly requires the disclosure or verification of, or otherwise requires knowledge of, salary history for employment purposes;
  3. background checks seeking non-salary related information, as long as when requesting information, the employer specifies that salary history information is not to be disclosed; and
  4. inquiries regarding an applicant’s “previous experience with incentive and commission plans and the terms and conditions of the plans,” provided that the employer does not ask for information about the amount of earnings in connection with the plans and only inquires into the applicant’s previous experience with incentive and commission plans if the current position includes an incentive or commission component as part of the total compensation program.


Contrary to the laws of many other jurisdictions, New Jersey’s law does not prevent employers who do business, employ persons, or take applications for employment in states other than New Jersey from including an inquiry regarding salary history on an employment application, so long as immediately preceding the inquiry it states that an applicant for a position in New Jersey is instructed not to answer.


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For more information about the growing trend of salary history bans, please visit our Resource Library.

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